Samuel W. Shaw Visit


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AP Cohort Visit to Samuel W. Shaw

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Samuel W. Shaw Visit

  1. 1. February 2012 Is Work Students Undertaking Worthwhile? VISIT TO SAMUEL W. SHAW SCHOOL On February 7th, our cohort visited Samuel W. Shaw. We split up into groups of two, and had an opportunity to visit two classrooms, at two division levels. We utilized the “Effective Teach- ing Practices Rubric” (Friesen, 2009), specifically looking at the “task” students were asked to do. We rated the task according the rubric performance indicators in the following two areas: 1. Work is Authentic 2. Work Fosters Deep Understanding WHAT DID YOU SEE? ¬ collaboration with teachers and students; students working together in groups to complete a common purpose. ¬ multi-modal and cross-curricular learning opportunities ¬ innovative physical configurations; break-out spaces; classes organized for team work ¬ school was vibrant with energy.! ¬ students were engaged in the tasks they were assigned.! Most were very aware as to why they were doing them and could show evidence of their learning.! ¬ Interesting use of technology; students using personal electronics to complete their work. ! ¬ I saw higher-order thinking (synthesis and application. HOW DOES THIS APPLY TO YOUR CONTEXT/WHAT DID YOU LEARN? ¬ using technology as a way of supporting the inquiry, instead of being a novelty or provocation for thought. ¬ using collaboration as teachers and students encourages a more constructivist approach to learning. All people within the classroom community are learners and are working to build common understandings of bigger questions. ¬ I appreciated the conversation that outlined the need for specific skills to solidify the inquiry-based pedagogy. Too often I think people see inquiry as lacking struc- ture or intentional development of skills. To be effective, it needs to have a base in developing skills and processes as students need them IS WORK STUDENTS UNDERTAKING WORTHWHILE?! 1
  2. 2. February 2012 Is Work Students Undertaking Worthwhile? ¬ the rubric is not always something you can use for one snapshot like we saw today. It may be more honoring of the work to use it as a measure of work over time ¬ I was very interested in seeing the model used at SWS around inquiry based learn- ing; student tasks that are far removed from the textbook and stand and deliver teaching.! My school…leans more towards the traditional model.! As an Instruc- tional Leader, I would like to be a catalyst to help move a number of our teachers towards the inquiry-based model…a more balanced approach than we have now. ¬ Classroom activities had similar curricular connections to our school. No new learn- ing, but rather, witnessed student engagement, on-task behavior, and learning relevant to the student’s lives WHERE TO NEXT? ¬ Id like to see how this could be lived in high school. ¬ Id like to have a deeper conversation about how technology issues are being dealt with across the area. Losing pieces, breakage, etc. ¬ I would like to hear more about how teachers are using cross-curricular projects as a way of engaging students and how all forms of assessment have played a role in their planning/implementation. ¬ I would love to visit a couple more schools and do this activity again with my AP colleagues.! ¬ I see an opportunity for my teachers to connect with other teachers from the south to share ideas around the tasks we are placing in front of students.! Not sure if it would be as small as email conversations or an actual joint PD Day. ¬ I will be sharing the classroom activities with teachers here as exemplars. The ru- bric was great to use and I shared it with two teachers on temp contracts to guide their lesson planning. They loved it. WEBSITES/LINKS Is Work Students Undertaking Worthwhile? ! 2